On the Precipice of Something God

Today I know why Athena is the goddess of war AND wisdom (and weaving, for that matter).

 

The battle inside of me is full on.  And beyond mere womanly muscle power, it takes some serious tact to outsmart this army of unruly and malfeasant demons who have staked their illusory claim in the dream scene domain named “me”.

 

I’m at the Momshram.  Yup.  I successfully purged and boxed my modest first world existence, and then my light and dark knight, Sir Edward transported me here, lovingly and safe on wednesday afternoon.  And I’ll tell you what- there is not a single shred of doubt or regret about my choice to let go of “that life” and step boldly into “this” one.  God bless Oakland… But I am relieved to be here in the sacred forest, where the urban sounds of sirens, trains, car alarms, the scuttle of tiny dog toenails on the hardwood floor upstairs from me, have morphed into crickets, saccades, a gurgling fountain and the repetitive thud of soccer ball colliding with human foot.  Oh and let me not leave out the gentle hush of breeze teasing well-attended choirs of leaves.

 

I am once again daunted by the task of finding accurate language to convey the plunging, prismatic depths of my experience.  I want to be eloquent, succinct, lucid, evocative.  But I mustn’t let this lofty aspiration close me in on myself.  My job is to show up and open the channel so that God can say what must be said.

 

I feel myself on the precipice of radical transformation.  I will be starting a four week yoga teacher training on moonday.  Does that mean I want to be a yoga teacher?  Shrug.  Dunno.  But I DO know that I want to deepen my Relationship with God; purify my mind, heart and being.  Of this, I am clear.  But today I am aware of the gap between where I perceive myself to be, and where I wish to go.  And it is requiring so much patience, self acceptance and compassion to just hover my awareness above and within this distasteful, imaginary void.

 

I’ve been doing my precursory reading assignments for the training… and the material is shining a floodlight on aspects of my smalls self, that up until now have been concealed within the crafty and elusive veneer of my identity.  I love the yogic path!!!  Incase you were  not aware of this, it has nothing to do with stretching.  Unless you’re speaking strictly in the figurative sense (which I love to do).  I realize that if one offers one’s whole self, with discipline, focus and devotion to the timeless and comprehensive teachings of the yogic path, one WILL discover complete inner freedom, and be able to live grounded in Truth with a capital T. (that rhymes with P that stands for pool!)

 

Here I perch, on patio furniture on the lawn outside of Master’s Market wearing a sullen, excessively sober face.  In this moment, I am deeply questioning who I am, who I most want to become, and what I have dreamed to be meaningful.  I like this.  I have a feeling that much good will come of this unfurling.

 

And then there’s Ed.  He’s the main ingredient in the recipe of this alchemical purification process.  I have never loved anyone with such unwieldy magnitude.  But is it really “love”?  I mean… absolutely it is.  AND…

 

I am deeply studying the nature of my own heart as it pours forth blood curdling screams of devotion to this divine other.  Experiencing my heart in this moment, it feels open so wide, that what I am present to is *not* the openness, but the EDGES that are being radically stretched.  Ed evokes feelings so immense in me, that though our communion is clearly an experience of opening (except when it’s not), in this moment, I am not experiencing blissful, boundless space, but the pressure of confines.  What IS this?  It can’t be divine love, can it?  For divine love is INFINITE and unbounded.  And this love… has me fallen to my knees and begging for mercy.  Perhaps this is the paradoxical experience of being simultaneously human and divine.  Perhaps boundaries are the access point to the unbounded.

 

Honestly, I’m not quite sure.  But I am sure that I can’t ignore this experience, put it to the side, sweep it under the sprawling heirloom carpet, which furnishes the eternality of my magnificent soul.  Something is calling out from within me.  Demanding to be integrated.  Assimilated.  Forgiven.  Embraced.

 

Today’s Course in Miracles review lesson is: “God’s will for me is perfect happiness.” and “I accept God’s will for perfect happiness for me.”  This was the perfect lesson for me today.  Of course.  Though I believe that every facet of life is infused with the perfect medicine, the perfect formula for each of our liberation from this dream of suffering and separation… still, there are some lessons that shout, while others merely whisper.

 

This morning I awoke from frustrated dreams of Ed being with his family… and me not being welcome or included; a painful experience that I grapple with most days.  Mulling over today’s lesson, I became acutely aware and then repulsed by  my own resistance to letting go of my suffering around this topic, and instead choosing to be happy and at peace.  I SAY I want to be happy… but when, in a moment, I am faced with the choice of holding on, or letting go… I often notice my resistance to letting go!  Why IS this???

 

Well…  I at least want to take a preliminary stab at answering this wily, elusive and quintessential question.  I mean… if I WAS to choose happiness in every moment, regardless of the circumstances of my life… then WHY would I bother living?  If I was totally content without Ed by my side, then why would I go on desiring his sacred partnership?  Would I?  I’m not sure…  But I don’t want to risk that.  I WANT to want him.  I LOVE to love him.  Losing that feels like losing so much meaning and richness in my life.  But so often my desire to live life beside him feels like bondage.  And I want to be FREE!  Or do I?

 

I am using my Relationship with Ed as an example, because it has the most forceful gravitational pull within me.  But really, I could illuminate many circumstantial cesspools of paradoxical suspension within me- all of the myriad ways I imagine happiness and peace are “out there”, “some day”…

 

I want to find freedom within me.  I am terrified to find freedom within me.

 

This is the perfect place to be as I embark on this transformational journey of dissolution, purification and rebirth.

 

God, that would have been such a potent place to end this pilgrimage through Athena Graceland… but I have a couple of practical announcements to make.  It’s kinda like at the end of a yoga class… this is one of my pet peeves- after we’ve just finished our final relaxation, and we’re all melty and quiet, preparing to roll up our mats and slowly integrate back into the frenzied river of modern, urban life… and instead, the teacher feels compelled to spout off all these superfluous announcements about upcoming workshops and retreats and junk.  Come ON- there is a time and place for propaganda.  And it’s not post sivasana, when I am new born and tender.)

 

And now for my announcements (wink):  I want to tell you that where “it” stands with Ed.  I told him I am no longer willing to have a secret, (his wife knows… and yet he has still been tiptoeing) secondary relationship with him on selective weekdays between 9am and 2:30pm.  And no, that does not equate to, “leave your family and come to me right this minute.”  It just means that I need to be integrated into his current construct of reality, such that our relationship has the light and space it requires to grow and flourish.  Such that he can come to church with me once in a while… or be my date to a rad event in my(our) community… or sleep over once in a while.  God it hurts my heart that NOBODY in his life knows who I am, let alone what I MEAN to him.  I could really get into suffering about THAT ONE.  But I won’t.  Because he said he would rise to meet this request for evolving openness.  I don’t require the all or nothing paradigm.  I just need clear, intentional movement in the direction of integrity and togetherness.  And the beauty of it, is that I trust him to do what he says he will do.  Not that he can’t be an avoidant worm like the rest of us, at times… but when he says he’s gonna do something, HE DOES IT.  I find this quality in him very sexy and compelling.  So that’s where we stand.  I am so committed to this man.  The depth of our love and connection makes it well worth the struggle.  All I need is movement in the direction we both desire to go.  Incase it is not obvious to you by now: I LOVE THIS MAN SOOOO DEEEEEEP.

 

And the last announcement is that I probably won’t be writing much at all for the next month, because I will be hella occupied with my sacred transformation (teacher training).  Though naturally, I always reserve the right to visit Athena Graceland any time I am called.

 

So bless me as I step off the cliff of the familiar, once more, and offer my false self to the loving sword of Kali Ma.  And say goodbye to the woman who just wrote this blog, because she is already dead and reborn.

 

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA.

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Most Crucial Blog I Have Ever Written!

God must love me.  Because She hired a professional to serenade me all night long as I drifted in and out of sleep.  A mosquito humming love songs after dark in my ear!  Thank you God!!!

But don’t be fooled.  This will NOT be a “light” entry to be shrugged off as linguistic frivolity.  This might be the most crucial blog I have EVER written and will EVER write.  Eeek, that scares me.  Makes me want to just eat [peanut] M&Ms and read about all my distant friends, drifting like pale, winking lights at dawn on the misty ocean.  But I won’t do that.  I will push on.

It’s just that last night my life changed forever.  I mean, really.  Sure, I could assert that statement about ANY moment of my existence and let it be true enough… But last night Destiny pushed me over the edge of the falls with her classy, over the elbow satin gloved hands, and now I am being pounded AWAKE by some seriously holy waters!  Fuck yeah!  What could be BETTER!?!  Nothing.

Thanks to my good friend RosyMoon’s zealous insistence, and then Mykael’s impassioned back-up action, I watched this profound youtube video series, which rearranged the furniture inside me in a way that drowned me to Life in my own inner knowing!  That is worth at least “affinity” times it’s weight in diamonds and pearls.  And I am NOT being figurative here.  I am so dangerously literal right now.

Okay, Miss LMNOP, what WAS this bone rattling, soul shattering video series?  It was a Native American “wisdom keeper” speaking about what is being born through us at this time on the planet.  It all resonated to my core.  I haven’t a single shred of doubt that she speaks Truth.  Shrug.  I just don’t.  Sure, I’m not your average God fearing, news reading, Safeway shopping, International House of Pancake dining, Politician trusting, evidence hungry citizen of the United States of Bloody America.  But stick around.  I dare ya.  You’ll see soon enough, if you are not seeing already.

The foundation concept of which “Little Grandmother” spoke was the collective shift we are making from living in our minds back into our hearts!  Instead of a moment of silence for this auspicious, long awaited Return, let’s have a moment of Macarena!

(I WISH I remembered the Macarena!  I’d be doing it all the time!  Just kidding.  But it was an endearing little dance.  Admit it.  Because people looked like total dorks when we did the Macarena… but enough people did it, that we felt secure being total dorks.  And that’s so healthy.  I say, unleash your inner dork.  DO IT NOW.  Don’t wait for it to be “okay”.  That’s why I love Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job.  Check them out on my Blogroll for some immediate inspiration in the school of freedom to BE.)

So we have all been born into a world where we were taught to live from our minds… and it has made quite a mess of disconnection, confusion, scarcity and needless suffering.  Living from the heart, in tune with Source is not a new innovation.  The indigenous cultures have done it for Goddess knows how long… but in this most recent incarnation of consciousness, we have forgotten and NOW we are remembering and that KICKS ASS.  She said we are some seriously STRONG “I AMs” (aka: humans, aka: gods manifest), to be the ONES here at this time to make the shift back to LOVE. It takes some RIPPED spiritual muscles.  Yes, that means YOU!  And You and You and everyone you pass on the street and everyone living huddled in huts on dirt floors in third world countries… and mansions on the pretentious rolling hills of Oblivion.  Every one of us is the crème de la crème of consciousness.  We are the chosen Rockstars who are birthing the world’s return to LOVE.  I love this!  Suddenly I feel so connected to EVERYONE on the planet in an intimate way… like we were all hand picked for the All Star sports team!  We are *special*.

So the moral of this story, is DON’T worry.  Fear not.  Everything is falling apart, because it MUST come undone in order to make space for a world that will sparkle so hard it will knock the light back into you!  (Figure of speech, silly, the light never left you.)  Raise your hand if you’ve ever given birth, or been present at the time of birth.  Well I haven’t, but I know it’s a pretty messy, intense process.  AND I know that a woman must let go in order to allow the tender little bun to tumble out.  So as this new consciousness is born through all of us, we must LET GO.  The more we try to hold on to the perilous olde familiar, the more painful and frightening the birth experience will be.  Trust me, I know how frightening it can be to release into the unknown.  It can be way worse than a visit to the dentist… but only if we are not trusting in the All Pervading Power of Love.

So I am here to remind you (and myself) that there is nothing worth holding onto right now.  At least not with white knuckles.  Our collective landing will be soft and entirely of Grace.  It will be like free falling into clouds made of down and chinchilla fur and unicorn’s breath!  It will smell like fresh baking croissants, chocolatey birthday cake and night blooming jasmine.  It will sound like galaxies of drunken stars having over the top dance parties and orgiastic OM chanting.

See?  I told you it was good news!!!! I will NEVER be the same again.  How can fear seem real in relation to what is just up ahead for Team Humanity?  Another thing she said that was Ephiphanic for me was that we humans have been relying on one another as primary energy sources, and this is crippling and exhausting.  She said our true energy source is Nature.  Plants.  Sky.  Earth.  If we need energy, we can simply go sit under a tree and take some deep breaths for a while.  I am someone who has felt exhausted for a lot of my life, so this reminder is HUGE for me.  I haven’t been able to imagine my life without caffeine.  But I have spent my whole life in urban environments… Who knew it would be so simple to recharge?  (As I wrote that, an emphatic gust of cool breeze blew into my bedroom, and I drank it in deep.  Life always Speaks.)

But back to relying on one another for energy.  What that means in “lay terms” is that having forgotten ourselves as GOD~GODDESS, “the Great I AM”, we are constantly seeking validation from those around us.  We rely on the [sorely limited] projections of others for our sense of self.  If people see us as “good”, then we feel good [for a while].  If people see us as “bad”, we feel bad.  I have been so “guilty” of that.  What a sublime waste of energy… to be constantly seeking out the validation of others… instead of claiming our true essence as Divine Creators, connected to Source and proactively, Lovingly dreaming forth the world that we envision in our Hearts.

I have had a habit of constant doubt around my writing.  Someone tells me they read my work and were opened, moved and that I have a gift… and for a few crack-ish instants, I feel GOOD and WORTHY… but then I have fallen back into my default mode of self doubt… waiting until the next time someone “out there” throws me a modestly meat strewn bone of validation.  And then I know for another few nanoseconds that I am great.  But screw that game.  I AM God-Goddess. (As are You and You and You and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.)  I am ready to live unapologetically connected to Source.  I am ready to accept the sweet responsibility of staying Connected, humbly and willingly speaking, being, serving as an ambassador of the ONE!!!  Not such a bad gig, eh?  Who’s on board?  Who’s ready to renounce the perpetually draining practice of sucking and spitting our energy from one another and instead drinking deep of the Earth?  Come on!  All ABOARD!!!  LET’S DO THIS THING, PEOPLE!

Amen.

Oh, here’s the link to the profound video series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK5OOfEmut4

My New Vocation!

Staring at the blank page.  Five thirty am.  Wondering where I left my soul juice.  Not enough sleep.  But my restless mind won’t let me fall back and hit the rest and release anymore.  So here I am, blinking like an over cooked vegetable at the bright screen screaming at my eyes.  Strange days.  Sometimes when my spirit is ablaze in the infernos of transformation, my body has a hard time resting, fully letting go into sleep’s tender palm.  But I’m gonna pick myself up by the bathrobe straps and fake it till I make it because I have so much to tell you!

I brought my typewriter to the Lake Merit farmer’s market yesterday and sold poetry!  Was I a scardy cat?  Naturally.  But I am getting better at not thinking life to death, and instead just living it.  I think this is one of the benefits of meditation and a commitment to being a Divine Servant.  I have been begging God pretty relentlessly to move me about this life according to the highest will.  Please God, let my life be an offering to the Holy Whole.  Let me continue to heal so that I can be a source of healing for others.  And God said, “That’s right bitch, now I’ve got you just where I want you.  Listen up…”  And then God tossed me my typewriter and drop kicked me down the hill to spin the hearts and souls of others into beautiful garlands of words.  The experience yesterday FAR EXCEEDED any expectations I had (Expectations.  I know they blow anyway… but I can’t seem to stop them…)

Since I’m new at this spontaneous poetry game, I still don’t quite have my “protocol” down… (I reckon protocols are overrated anyway, but…)  I just had a vague idea that when someone asked for a poem I’d gaze upon them lovingly sincere and ask what is in their heart these days, then wait while they stumbled and fumbled for some semblance of a response to this unabashedly deep cutting inquiry.  But yesterday, I barely had to ask.  The majority of customers (about seven) came to me, opened themselves in full trust and emptied their hearts upon the invisible altar between us.  I was pleasantly stunned by this!  (Hold on, I’m gonna go Q-tip.  Be right back!)  Alright where was I?  Oh yeah, so my first customer was a man who said he was getting married next week and he wanted a poem for his wife to be.  He was with a sweet little boy (his fiance’s son) who happened to be devouring one of the delicious smelling artisan waffles sold nearby.  He had an avalanche of powdered sugar all over his face and front, which struck up the choir of instant joy inside me.  I took a deeper than thou breath and lovingly banged out the poem for him.  He loved it and said he would read it to her either at the wedding or the reception.  I was astounded.  Then, spilling with gratitude he handed me a twenty dollar bill.

Somehow it seems sacrilegious to talk about the money I earn.  Like sexuality, another taboo.  Well screw your taboos, you who fear the truths of this mundane play.  As far as Athena Grace LMNOP is concerned, anything goes here on the page.  Especially if it is an accurate, well rounded portrait of her life here on planet earth.  Just had to name that.  But twenty bucks is a far cry from the two dollars and fifty cents I made LAST weekend, eh?  It’s interesting to me to see the monetary values people place on something as non-linear and seemingly “frivolous” as poetry.  It says a lot about the person… I think… It is time for poetry to reclaim its place in the health and wellbeing of our collective psyche.

Then next customer was actually standing under a tree, WAITING (patiently) for her turn as I pounded out the wedding poem!  Who knew that poetry was important enough to “wait in line” for?!?!  Now you know.  You heard it here first!  This sincere and tender hearted woman approached me, set down her groceries and immediately launched into a revelatory outpouring of fondness for her best friend.  She portrayed her friend in a light strictly reserved for the Goddess.  This dear friend, great nonjudgmental listener, earth mama, compassionate, loving mother of twins, home maker, generous, creative inspiring creature lives in LA… and my customer misses her to bits.  The poem slid effortlessly out of me, lubed by the flood of overt adoration between soul sisters.  Shazam!

Then along came an old man wearing a yellow shirt and a Polaroid camera around his neck.  He offered me a photo.  Naturally I said yes.  I offered him a poem in exchange.  I did ask HIM what was in his heart.  He said he was just glad to be here on this beautiful day full of beautiful people and beautiful food… Sometimes the most simple is the utterly profound, right?  I read him his poem, he snapped another Polaroid shot of me “for my boyfriend” and was off to bathe in his fresh picked day.

Another old man.  He was adorable.  Eighty one years old.  Full of wisdom, insight and a peace that you could touch, taste and frolic in.  Initially he just came over to poke around and investigate my typewriter (as quite a number of folks did throughout the course of the day)… but I kept inviting him into a poem.  I used my favorite expression to lure him in, “Come on… You only live once!” (I love this expression since I don’t ultimately believe it to be true!  But that only makes it POP with an endless twist of dimensions.  The dimension that there is ONLY this moment… set against the infinite slog that is living life.  And every nuanced shade of silver in between.)  To this he replied, every moment I live anew.  That opened a door for him and he shared the heavy wisdom that his eighty one years has unearthed in his tender and pure heart.  I was so moved by his wise soul and refined relationship with Love.

In fact, when he left, I was a radiant fountain of AWE.  And this man, who had been lurking in the distant shadows approached me.  “How are you doing?” he asked.  “AMAZING!” I exclaimed.  And then he announced that he was the manager of the market and I was not allowed to be there.  Frown.  But I could feel that his heart was conflicted.  He was doing his job.  I’m sure he could feel the flamboyant love gurshing from within me.  So eventually he suggested a “grey area” location that I could move to.  Sigh… it was not nearly as utopic sitting on the sidewalk under the large palm tree across the street from the market.  Shrug…

But I did have three more customers over there.  A woman who soon spilled over with tears as she requested a poem about change.  She said she was moving to the east coast on July first… And she had an apartment, a car, a family, a job and a horse waiting for her there!!!!!  If that full spectrum cast of assets doesn’t make you smile out loud, I don’t know what would!  I cherished her tears!  I am so happy to be a space for people to feel and authentically express!  I invited her to let it flow.  She was a spark for sure.  The poem that came out for her was a playful portrait of the implicit beauty in all the textures of the human experience.  Offering it to her, I felt it to be an ally, a talisman for her journey.

Was it because the moon was full and had just eclipsed???  The people who showed up were amazing, vulnerable, generous, divine!  I made fifty eight dollars!  I’ve always been afraid that I’ve been too idealistic to think that I could make a living doing EXACTLY what I want to do.  But I’m starting to think that I can and that rattles my bones with ecstasy.

AMEN.

This Is What Love Looks Like (Today)

Fear.  It feels crippling today.  But I don’t really feel like hanging out in it for too long, so I’m just gonna pick myself up by the… hmmm, I don’t have boot straps.  I don’t even know what boot straps ARE.  Pick myself up by the heart strings.  Pick myself up by the angel wings.  Pick myself up by the truth of me who sings even now, when I seem to have forgotten the words to my own song.  Maybe that’s because there aren’t any words to my soul song… But I couldn’t tell you for sure, because nobody ever told me I had a song, so I quickly learned to forget this crucial tidbit of my selfhood.  Song?  Yeah, haven’t you heard those wondrous tales of indigenous cultures, where when a woman conceives a child, she goes off alone into nature and listens intently for the song of her unborn child?  They know… that every human has our own unique song.

But I have forgotten my song, so instead, I am listening to the Full Lotus Kirtan Show (one of my favorite podcasts).  On this week’s show, the host, [Saint] Blake Tedder is playing all Maha Mantras… you know, the Hare Krishna mantra. (an oldie but goodie, if you ask me…)  He says that this mantra is a straight shot, one way ticket to the kind of profound oneness you thought could only exist on TV and in the movies.  No, it’s real, and I’m on my way, baby, because in my ears, its all Maha Mantra, all the time.  Maha means “Great God”.

I just watched the barista empty three small jars of raspberry jam into one larger jar.  Thick, red slime.  And the chime of big metal spoon on glass, set against my maha-mantric Indian tablas and those clinky, kirtan chimes.  At times like this, when my usual constructs of safety, security and continuity are bursting like faulty dams and the mystery surges through like reckless, liquid, high-speed trains, it’s the little things I cling to with frivolous glee (stained with passive desperation).  God, I don’t know what to say at all today.  I just can’t shake this quiver.  It feels like I’m on the precipice of falling apart completely… but not fully letting go.  Oh!  Well in that case, Athena, just let go.  Fall apart.  Free fall through this moment.  Seems so simple.  As I wrote that, I realized that my heart was clenching, so I relaxed it, and now I feel like I could sob enough to fill an entire kiddie pool at a flea circus.

Member how I told you that the other day I heavily procrastinated writing my blog by searching for high school friends on facebook?  Well, I did, and one of them got back to me within a modest smatter of cosmic hot flashes!  She was ELATED to hear from me.  In the two messages she wrote me, I could feel her leaping up out of every single word and grabbing me by the collar, shaking me with a zesty strain of hallelujah.  She said she had been searching for me for YEARS… but by my old, busted name, Dawn Horwitz.  “Athena Grace!?!?!  What the *&%^$#@???” she spat.  I swear, what a gift to be so revelatorily received!  I wish EVERYONE was that excited to hear from me!  Briana is her name.  I met her when I was a “soft-more” and she was a senior.  She fell from the sky, into my drama class, a fresh transfer from Hayward High.  I never had any fond feelings for Hayward, and quite frankly, I was astonished that such a holy morsel could come from such a trashy neck of the woods.  (No offense if you are a Hayward Native or ardent supporter.)  My first impression of Briana was that she was always smiling.  But not some corny cheerleader smile… A soul smile.  She wore a depth, a wisdom, a style that dripped with authenticity, creativity and freedom.  I wanted to know her immediately.

I was amazed by Briana’s self awareness, her graceful ability to be herself in an environment that did not exactly foster such authenticity.  Briana’s presence in my life was like stumbling, parched and broken, upon a desert oasis.  When I wrote to her the other day, I told her in my brief synopsis of my life that writing is the backbone of my existence, my number one passion.  In her reply, she told me that she got her masters in creative writing, but she hasn’t written a word since, because she’s afraid she’ll find out she’s a sucky writer.  Can you believe that?  I can.  But I think it totally blows, with a capital B, that rhymes with P, that stands for POOOOL!  (I need to watch the Music Man soon.  I want to belt every song and maybe even stick thumb tacks in the bottom of my shoes and pretend I know how to tapdance!!!)  Writing.  It’s one of the FEW places in my life where I feel free from my own self criticism.  I mean, not that I don’t experience the self critical voices… But on the page, I just allow them, and glean freshly squeezed amusement from the ridiculousness therein.  To my self critical voices’ dismay, they actually fuel my writing in a positive way.  I’ll count that as a blessing.  Oh, woops, that reminds me… I was supposed to be locked away in my corner of condemnation, counting my ass off till beyond the end of time when the blessings are finally all accounted for, once and for all.  Whoops.  I’m here, instead, talking in concentric linguistic circles, like the ones that lovingly scream messages of impermanence in the faces of rain puddles.

Why do I put so much pressure on myself to be something, somehow, someway?  What am I trying to achieve beneath all this petty, unconscious expectation?  Survival.  That’s a big one, of course.  Being loved.  That’s the other Maha motivation.  But fuck.  I am loved, because I AM LOVE.  I wish I could live as though I knew this.  I can.  I can live as LOVE.  I DO live as love.  I just have some mental habits that have managed to convince me otherwise.  Simple.  But they can’t pull the wool over this LOVE-drenched bitch’s eyes no mo’.  I’m going on strike.

Okay, I’m gonna go retreat to my bedroom and cry my flea circus pool now.  Oh wait, speaking of crying… last night, I was walking alone to the grocery store and I saw this man standing in the dirt in his front yard.  He looked like a grubby, dirty man who you might encounter on mission street, or operating heavy machinery while nursing a Budweiser.  But instead, he bent over and cast little handfuls of seeds in shallow holes he had just dug in the soil.  Can I be candid with you now?  THIS WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I’D EVER SEEN!  This man, who according to my narrow, binding stereo type, should have been parked like a lump in his favorite armchair watching sports was out connecting with his modest, urban patch of earth.  Creating life.  Creating beauty.  Seeing this holy vision turned the contents of my heart upside down and I cried the rest of the way to the store.

AMEN.

Almost As Immaculately As Jesus

I don’t like to think about my parents having sex, but as the story goes, I was conceived ( almost as Immaculately as Jesus, I reckon) on this day thirty one years ago.  Every year on April 16th, I think of this and feel like it should be a bigger deal than people make it out to be.  I think kings and queens who rule over heavenly realms should greet me in bed with kisses and cupcakes and champagne.  Their skin is cool, Krishna-blue and softer than silk.  They ooze a fragrance that teases me with the dancing promise of the long awaited blossoming of the lotuses arduously growing in my inner mud.

That’s what this blog is really about.  I’ve been contemplating what I am up to, here on the page… and if I had to boil it down, which of course I don’t… But if I did… (which I DON’T), I would say that this blog is an expression of the lotus growing from within me. (And too, inside of YOU)  It is not just exalting the pinacle of the pretty-assed, electric blue and lavender bloom, but it is the celebratory savoring of the nutrient rich mud.  The fascination with the ridiculously thick, smooth stalk.  The lotus stalk is just like a bean stalk.  Maybe you can climb it all the way to a holy land above golden clouds where spiritual giants and their miraculous accessories and side kicks kick it old skool.  Okay, I got a little excited and worked up.  Lotuses do this to me… But yeah, I offer my words to this page as an acknowledgement of the perfection and beauty of the incessant process of Divine Becoming.  I am sick of constraining my mind with all these concepts of “When I become Enlightened”… When I am spiritually awake.  All these needless divisions imposed by a mind bred to divide and hide the intrinsic miracle of BEING.  Enlightenment is a spiral staircase, Baby!  Hop aboard!

Still, I don’t think my lotus has bloomed yet, but who cares?  It will in APL’s sweet transcendent time.  I have been realizing that patience and perseverance are my spiritual path right now.  I laugh as I write that, because again, my words divide and conquer.  As if life were created to be boiled down to garden variety, mundane sentences.  What does all of this mean???  It means that I LOVE.  It means that every single word that spills from me like a wilderness of spring raindrops is imbued with heart.  I can feel my heart bleeding like a sun, pouring hot rays of love’s language out my finger tips and onto this page in the spirit of freedom.  I guess I’m glad my parents knocked boots.  I like it here.  I don’t always.  How often I have yearned to die!  But NOW, in love, I feel like a lighthouse throwing out wicked bright beams of praise, guiding lost ships back to the sacred place that has never left any of us.

More on relationships!  Yesterday Mykael and I were having sex and I was not feeling my heart.  It felt like going through the motions and honestly, sometimes, when I’m horny enough, I don’t mind that.  But yesterday I minded.  I was in my head trying to figure out what the source of the disconnect was… Finally I said something to the effect of that I was not feeling my heart… or his… or something and I wanted to feel more connected.  Interestingly, Mykael filtered my communication through all the nuts and bolts and gears in his human head and spit out the interpretation that he was being attacked and the situation required defense on his part.  Then Miss Athena suddenly began to feel hurt because she didn’t feel heard and her desire for deeper connection had turned to battle.  Let the games BEGIN!!!  She fought to be heard.  He fought to be good enough, a good enough lover, a good enough man.  Soon enough we were in the all too familiar cesspool of exhausting attack and defense.  Capricorns and Tauruses are supposed to be a match made in heaven… But where’s the accounting for two extremely stubborn being coming together?  Two cloven hoofed beasts in a slow, arduous earthen battle.

Capricorns are far superior anyway…  (GRIN)  When we fight and he slips into that embodiment of extra dense dude, I feel like I’ve gotta sling some seriously long, dangerously sharp arrows in order to penetrate his bedrock thick skin.  I get mean.  He gets hurt.  I don’t know how else to get through to him.  The scene:  Us naked.  Him inside me, losing his hard on by the defensive second.  The intensity and the volume raising.  Me pushing him off me.  More exacerbated, desperate, frivolous communication.  Him finally storming out and slamming the door behind him.  (To hear him tell it, he was never a door slammer before I habituated him to that highly indulgent, asinine behavior.  Personally, I’m proud to be the initiator of door slam-dom.  He claims he is NOT a fan of the practice.)  Sure, I was mad… I’d much rather express my desire and have my man reply, “Why YES, Beloved Goddess, surely you are right, let’s enter deeper into our hearts, each other’s hearts, god’s heart!  Right now!!!  On your marks get set GO!!!!”

NO.  I would NOT rather relate like that.  How boring, pathetic milk toast would that be?!!  No challenge.  NO friction.  NO FUN.  If this same scene had occurred last week, I would have made it mean more evidence that we should not be together.  I would have felt so justified in leaving him.  But not this week.  As Grace would have it, I was standing in my love for him.  Miraculously, I stood at the very mouth of the deep well of patience.  That’s a good place to find yourself standing when you are feeling triggered by your partner, eh?!  HERE IS THE BEST PART!!~ I opened the previously slammed bathroom door.  His bathrobe was still jammed in the door from the prior dramatic demonstration!  The look on his face when I entered his chamber was PRICELESS!  Holy GOD!  I can’t explain why it opened me the way it did… but I’ll die trying… Just for YOU.  He was fiddling around on his Iphone… and his face was contorted in the most exaggerated, though entirely sincere teenage-strife-pout-face!  Honestly, it was so over the top, it looked like a face a bad amateur actor would make if he was trying out for the role of a silver spoon, thirteen year old from the alabaster and caviar side of the tracks!  I wanted to keep a straight face, but not a chance.  I cracked up.  Woops.  (In my world I lose points for not being able to keep a straight face in a “serious moment”.  It’s like falling out of character on set of a movie and you have to re-shoot the scene.)

Apparently, during our spat, I said something that made him think I was threatening to leave him again.  This terrified him.  Not once during the fight did my mind even stumble into that prickly possibility.  So when he divulged that he was tangled in that reality again, I wanted to draw him to my breast and pet his frightened head.  Women.  We change our minds a lot… Love us or… Shrug… In that moment, I realized the impact of all my recent talk of break-up.  It erodes the container.  I am not making myself wrong at all for going there. I did.  That’s all.  And I probably will again.  I’m just saying, that I can see that the impact is creating a partner who flinches on some level, waiting for the door’s final slam in his face.  Ouch.

I managed to stay rooted in curiosity throughout this whole ordeal.  It was revelatory for me.  Let me tell you why.  Because I saw this possibility shine like rich, honeyed sunbeams pressing their way free of the thick, steely gray clouds~ The possibility of engaging in relationship from a place of genuine curiosity and incessant exploration, rather than all of these stupid, cardboard expectations, unexamined social programs.  Some part of me has been constantly preoccupied by hopes of marriage and financial security, children and owning our own home.  All the soulless endeavors agreed upon by a sleeping world.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having all those things.  But not at the expense of thriving in the MYSTERY.  Not at the expense of truly SEEING.  Not at the expense of feeling fully alive in a state of wonder of self and other.  Not at the expense of striving so hard that one day you wake up and you are DEAD!

Yesterday’s experience helped me realize that that is truly what I want in relationship.  I want to be continuously curious and surprised.  I want to cultivate patience and acceptance to the point of MASTERY.  I want to love the process more than some blah-zay, hollow result.  And I want to laugh my ass off at the pouty teenager who is all too alive and well in my partner! (and yes, CERTAINLY in myself, too…)

Cedar Waxwings, Ducks and More Carrots, Of Course!

I could have sworn that today was going to be an auspicious one.  First, when I was doing my kicking laps in the outdoor pool this morning, I heard a chorus of holy voices.  Immediately I knew the source of the song~ cedar waxwings, my most favorite bird.  (But let me set the record straight, I don’t use the term “favorite” as an absolute term, but only to serve as a vehicle conveying passion, enthusiasm, joy… that whole strain of shimmering feelings.)  Have you ever seen a cedar waxwing?  They always travel in flocks.  Big flocks.  They are not big birds, they are not especially small birds.  They are compact and sleek.  When I gaze upon them, I always feel like I am looking through a soft filtered lens~ you know, the kind they use in the movies when they want to illustrate that someone is falling in love?  The object of affection shows up so softened and glowing.  Cedar waxwings look like that without even needing the aid of Hollywood special effects!  Their feathers are modest shade of tawny earth.  On their cheeks they have a soft, circular spray of red, downy feathers, so that they are in perpetual blush!  They wear black feathered masks around their eyes like sexy, angelic love bandits.  They feast on berry bushes, while singing the praises of Heaven.  I don’t see them very often (though I do hear them pretty frequently.  Their voices are what birds would sound like if they purred!), so when I do, I know I am blessed.

Then, as I was getting out of the pool, a mallard couple landed gracefully on the surface of the warm, crystalline, chlorinated water.  I heard their slick landing as I walked, through the frigid, yawning air to the locker room.  Then I heard their goofy voices (Duck voices.  Is there anything sweeter???) announcing the presence of Love and I turned to prick posterity’s bubble, not believing what I heard.  Yes indeed, they paddled their beautiful, buoyant bodies along the lap lines and my heart tickled so bad it cracked open multiple times, like a whole nest full of duck eggs.  I heard myself shriek and squeal.

But now I feel lonely.  The ducks were a pair.  The cedar waxwings were a flock.  Athena is alone.  Café 504 is busy.  How do I know that I am lonely?  It’s this feeling in my heart.  A black hole comes to mind when I focus on the sensation.  This insatiable hole, from which sadness could ooze like an endless honey stream if I let it.  But maybe if I just allow it to be… maybe if I create a new story to surround the sensation.  Maybe it is a sensation of sacred vulnerability.  Maybe.  Maybe it is love.  Maybe it is not meant to be filled.  This must be what the banks of a raging river feel like.  I can just let this feeling pour through my shyly awakening heart.  It feels like raw desire.  Desire~ the reason that we keep casting our rods out into the future, hoping that a particular delicious, gracious, winged carrot will swim up and bite our line… and then this feeling of outrageous yearning will be quelled and real life will begin.

Real.

Life.

Will.

Begin.

I know I talk about this a lot, this illusion of future happiness… but I am determined to break on through to the other side.  I am determined to claim my home right here, right now, make my nest, stake my claim, own my throne.  Here.  Now.  Even with this ache in my heart and this auspicious, wishful fishing pole, perpetually on the hunt for carrots that swim with fishes.  Isn’t that a pretty image?  Inside my mind is a viscous substance, the offspring of the torrid affair between love and water.  Aqua-golden and warm as moonbeam jelly.  In it swim schools of slender, flaming orange carrots with iridescent scales and exotic, twinkling eyes.  Long, flowing fins that flow like silk scarves blowing in tropical breezes.  Who wouldn’t want to fish for carrots as beautiful as that?!?!  I bet when I finally find the heaven inside, I’ll see Jesus, Krishna and Saint Theresa chillin’ with forties (peeping out from crumpled brown paper sacs) on the end of a pier, dippin their holy poles into the viscous sea of love potion, waiting for a sacred carrot to bite their golden lines.

I have been setting the alarm on my phone to go off every hour, so that I can affirm today’s course in miracles lesson and sit in sacred silence for five minutes, inviting effulgence into the cracks between my habitual bondage thoughts.  While I was sitting in sacred invitation, my phone chimed with the revelatory news of a text message.  After five minutes of affirmation that “God, being Love, is also Happiness”, I saw that one of my most stellar (and long lost) friends, Amrita had texted me, informing me that she was in town for the day and would I like to meet up later!  I haven’t seen her in over a year.  So the cedar waxwings and the ducks did NOT lie after all!  Athena too shall be graced with auspicious company today!!!  When I am with Amrita, I feel like a shooting star.  Or maybe the ticklish blackness giggling uncontrollably as light whizzes anonymously through Her endless body of spacious something.

I said that I would tell you more about Glide Church.  But honestly, going to church is no more or less spiritual than any other experience that I have.  It is confounding to me how spirituality has become this compartmentalized, teensy patch within our glistening existence.  Or how bout those people who ardently declare, “I am not a spiritual person”?!?!  As if there is anything else to be!  I suppose this is another ingenious tactic used to bind our minds to illusion.  I am guilty.  I seem to be stuck to the concept that finding the light inside will be something that “happens to me… SOMEDAY”.  The quintessential Mother of all carrots!  How can it possibly be here now?  How can it be here now as I sit in this  moderately comfortable chair, my butt becoming flattened and stiff, my heart an empty frame hosting a vast, black hole and my mind relentlessly clawing for an understanding that saves my small fearful life, if even for a split second.

Don’t ask me how, but the Light is here, now.  Don’t ask me how, but this is IT.  There is nothing more.  No, wait, ask me.  Ask me how!!! Come on, ASK ME!!!  LOVE is how.  Mostly I hate when people tell me that.  Like my friend Dan.  He’s all bent on Love.  Like a holy obsession.  (As far as obsessions go, that one gets the thumbs up from nine point four out of ten angels… but only two out of eighty seven Popes, believe it or not)  And when love lives like an elusive concept far from available to me in any given steaming slice of Now, I feel desperate and frustrated.  LOVE?  Where?  All I feel is X, Y, Z…. What’s love got to do with THAT?  But I can feel it right now.  This feeling of brimming appreciation for all these divine dream creatures, blind as worms, wriggling about in our outrageous fantasy of separation.  Is it enough to just say YES to this feeling of reverence, this outpouring of sweetness?

Spiritual.  It does not have to be such a serious word.  Spiritual.  It is spiritual to breathe.  It is spiritual to ache.  It is spiritual to laugh, to cry, to yearn, to eat, and CERTAINLY to drink high quality cappuccinos(!!!) to pee and poop, to be a couch potato.  Ewwwe, I cringed as I wrote that last one.  I am not a fan of couch potatoes.  But you know what?  Who cares?  What I am fond of does not equate to what is spiritual.  Even the couch potatoes will eventually re-member this MAGNIFICENT light.

AMEN.

No One Told Me It Would Be Like This

What is it about a freshly blossoming female?  She is neither girl nor woman, but a sumptuous entity all her own.  I think it is okay for me to broach this subject…as a woman… if a man were to describe his fascination with the pubescent girl he sees regularly at the climbing gym, he would surely be condemned as a pervert.  But me?  I’m a woman.  A good, honest, God thumping citizen, who has even paid taxes once or twice!  So I for some reason have a little more permission to say that this girl makes herself into quite an enticing little morsel.  (If I were her parent, I imagine I’d feel into some jagged edges around setting my little baby free to express herself versus not wanting to set her free on the streets looking like a freshly hatched sexual invitation…)

She is tiny.  No trace of woman curves.  Except she has these darling new born boobies that rock!  Seriously.  She wears bras that push them up into little understated mounds of ivory cleavage.  Over that, she wears a very minimal, low cut tank top. (usually a red one)  On the bottom, she wears skin tight jeans with a hole in the knee.  Her hair is long and blond and a little tangly.  Around her wide, child’s eyes, she wears a tasteful rim of black.  I bet she’s thirteen.  Whenever she is in my vicinity, I find myself studying her.  Honestly, I can see why men would be involuntarily, biologically excited by a little girl like this.  Sheesh, even I am.  She is a strange cocktail of freshness and danger, innocence and wildness.  She’s so small, but with such promise of impending fullness.  Beholding her is looking at a masterfully crafted poem.

Thanks to this modestly spicy little creature, I can almost understand why my step dad freaked out when I painted my fingernails a bold, mauvy-pink color for the first time.  I was either thirteen or fourteen.  I sat down at the dinner table and he exclaimed that it was a color that a prostitute would wear.  I had been so thrilled to take a preliminary dive into the pool of sensual, feminine play, and in an instant I was thrown on the defense and wondering somewhere inside, if I had done something quintessentially wrong.  Did I really look like a prostitute with my shiny, pink nails?  I had only meant to be beautiful and express myself.  But I suppose it is an odd thing for a man to suddenly perceive his daughter as attractive.

This brings me to another topic… Becoming a woman.  In my experience, it was a journey as arduous and lonely as inventing the wheel.  Nobody told me it would take thirty years.  And neither did anyone tell me that once I was a woman, I would still feel like the same child inside.  Seriously, I look out my eyes, I feel through my heart, and it is the same ageless, being of perpetual innocence, wonder and heavy wisdom that has always taken up residency here.  The only thing that has changed is that I have more responsibility.  I can’t just hang out at my best friend’s desk drawing cartoons of older boy next door, who simultaneously grossed me out and turned me on.  I suppose I could do that after the bills have been paid and the children fed… Grin.

I wonder if it is like that for all women… I suppose if my mom was more open and communicative about all topics woman, it could have been different.  But she didn’t say much to me on the subject.  Slowly, over much time, I just found myself inhabiting a woman’s body.  No, scratch that, I was far from inhabiting my “woman’s body”.  I think that’s really what becoming a woman has meant for me, is learning to actually INHABIT my body.  I didn’t begin to feel glimmers of hope in that arena until I was twenty seven or twenty eight years old.  Before that?  My body did NOT feel like a comfortable, safe or inspiring place to hang out.  Remember, I had an eating disorder (over eating) in my late teens and early twenties, which meant that my body was a place of S-H-A-M-E, hiding, repulsion… and my mind was perpetually fixated on what I would eat next… until I ate and felt repulsed and then I would scheme my plot for impending starvation.  Man, talk about prison.  Talk about hell.  And it was all in staunch secrecy.  When I say that shame is an emotion meant to guard the fortress of imagined separation, I am not kidding.  What an ingenious mechanism to perpetuate the campaign for separation!  It was impossible for me to just be with others, with myself, with the moment.  Then, add to that chronic constipation, scoliosis, shoulder pain, difficulty drawing a full breath.  Yeah, there was no way I was gonna drop down and feel all the unwieldy sensations and emotions that were festering in my tortured human form.

What shifted?  Years of yoga practice, healing (and self discipline) around my relationship to food, a commitment to exploring and unfolding my sexuality, and a willingness to feel my belly.  A willingness to feel my belly.  Seriously, I think that might be the key to the Queendom.

When Mykael and I were at dinner the other night, (remember, the “date night” from hell?) we were seated at the community table, which I wanted to report actually saved our lives, because we ended up making friends with the women next to us, and that diffused some of the immense pressure we had built up between us… (the moral of that story is that we need to get out and socialize more.)  Before we officially invited our brooding selves into the sunshine party next door, I overheard the woman next to me talking about dieting.  So many women incessantly diet, don’t we?  I forget that sometimes, because many of my friends are not dieters… that I know of.  So mostly the topic is off my radar.  (My neurosis around food these days are more in the vein of “is eating this going to make me constipated or exhausted?”)

But you know what?  Fuck dieting.  Dieting is an obsession.  Once the diet is over, then what?  Then you whiplash to the other end of the spectrum as a natural function of depriving yourself for so long.  I used to be terrified that I’d inevitably be fat one day.  But somewhere along the line, that fear vanished.  Now I just focus on eating nourishing, balanced meals, and actually feeling my body as I do so.  I exercise regularly, not because I “SHOULD”, but because my mind and body function with more lucidity and vitality when I do.  Many times a day, I remember to release my awareness down into my belly and I realize that I have been holding it in.  Sometimes letting go feels like work… Something in me is so habituated to holding on.  I remember when I wore my first bikini. I think it was around the same time that I painted my nails like a prostitute.  I was a little bit squishy around the middle, and when I wore it in front of my step dad’s family, one of his sisters poked at my squish and told me to suck it in.  That was a pivotal moment in losing my innocence, a moment I became painfully aware of how I looked.  Not that I didn’t have any body issues before that moment… I did.  But that was the beginning of a committed practice of shamefully sucking my belly in.

As women, we are trained to do this.  It makes perfect sense.  When I just let myself FEEL my belly, there is so much energy in there.  I feel alive, turned on, creative, powerful, intuitive.  It’s been a popular topic to discuss the return of the Divine Feminine these days.  Collectively, we are aware of the nearing of the end of this destructive, imbalanced cycle of patriarchy…you know what I’m talking about… all the recent Goddess buzz… The domination of the patriarchy never would have gotten away with it if women were at home in our bodies.  Our bodies are sanctuaries of wisdom, temples of boundless pleasure and intuitive magic.  And if we all knew this, the world would be quite a different place.  Not to say that we DON’T know… Slowly, we are waking up.  But I wonder how quickly dieting would become obsolete if we all just let go of our bellies and made ourselves at Home, from the INSIDE out.